Council reject road upgrade

The Alberfeldy community is fuming following Baw Baw Shire Council’s refusal to improve road conditions from Thomson Dam to Aberfeldy.

According to community members, calls to the shire to begin remedial works on the severely neglected road have gone unanswered.

“Aberfeldy residents and thousands of tourists suffer vehicle damage, road trauma and daily damage as the road from the Thomson Dam to Aberfeldy is left to deteriorate,” Aberfeldy resident Graham Code said.

According to Mr Code, the Baw Baw Shire refused to upgrade the road because there was “no money” available,

The road was formerly owned by VicRoads and is 55 kilometres long, running from Walhalla north to Aberfeldy Bridge over the Aberfeldy River, continuing to Aberfeldy township and finishing at the Mt Selma Track intersection.

Mr Code argued ratepayers of Aberfeldy were deserving of these improvements because they did not receive urban shire services such as garbage collection and hard rubbish.

“The Shire of Baw Baw might be happy to take money, particularly the rates from the high residential growth areas, but they care nothing for the needs and services of rural people,” he said.

“The Aberfeldy community suffers at Baw Baw (Shire’s) lack of road repairs.”

A Baw Baw Shire representative echoed Mr Code’s concerns about the road, and said repairs were completed dependent on available funds, overall cost and road usage.

“Baw Baw Shire has undertaken an assessment of the condition of the road and its maintenance options available within the resource constraints,” Baw Baw Shire Council community assets director Simon Hill said.

“Until repair works can be undertaken council will install appropriate signage to advise the road users of the road conditions.”

Mr Hill said the narrow road, winds through steep terrain and has low traffic usage of around 20 vehicles per day.

Because of the current condition, he said the road was only suitable to four-wheel drives.

“Other options being considered will include further discussion with other authorities to discuss ongoing road management functions,” Mr Hill said.

“In the meantime, only urgent repairs will be undertaken until the review of all future management options is complete.”